DoJ continues criminal investigation of NSA whistleblower

Last month, Thomas M. Tamm, a former US Justice Department official, revealed himself as the source who initially tipped off The New York Times about NSA’s operation STELLAR WIND, a domestic warrantless spying program, which was secretly authorized by the Bush Administration in the wake of 9/11. New York Times journalists James Risen and Eric Lichtblau eventually revealed the program in a front page article, relying on interviews with nearly a dozen undisclosed insiders. Despite numerous indications that STELLAR WIND may be unconstitutional, and despite the impending change of guard at the White House, the US Department of Justice appears to be actively pursuing its criminal investigation of Tamm. A few days ago, Tamm’s lawyer received a letter [.pdf] sent by Steven Tyrrell, head of the DoJ Criminal Division’s Fraud Section, citing Tamm’s Newsweek interview and asking whether he is now “willing to reconsider his prior refusal to speak with agents of the FBI and/or to testify before the Grand Jury” about the disclosure of the NSA operation. What is more, the letter demands a response by January 9, and warns that failure to do so will be taken to mean that Tamm is not willing to volunteer to testify. Tamm’s legal team reportedly interprets this as a threat that Tamm may in fact be subpoenaed by the DoJ. Since becoming a whistleblower of the controversial NSA operation, Tamm has been forced to resign from his job, has had his house raided and his family, friends and associates questioned by the FBI, and has been “living under a pall, never sure if or when federal agents might arrest him”. He is now batting depression and is more than $30,000 in debt as a result of losing his job. “I didn’t think through what this could do to my family” he told Newsweek magazine, who published his story.

About intelNews
Expert news and commentary on intelligence, espionage, spies and spying, by Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis and Ian Allen.

One Response to DoJ continues criminal investigation of NSA whistleblower

  1. Gregg Knowles says:

    Mr. Tamm said in the Newsweek story that he feared people would see him as a traitor. Mr. Tamm, you are a hero and patriot! This smells so much of the Gestapo I want to puke. What has become of the glorious US of A ?

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